Studies of Welfare Populations: Data Collection and Research Issues. Communications

06/01/2002

Field managers on all projects know they are expected to be available to their interviewers 7 days a week. However, on some of these studies that expectation was intensified. On the Seattle Study, for example, a communication link between the field manager and the interviewers was needed 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Respondents were given a toll-free number that was staffed by the senior field manager in charge who could page any of the interviewers if a respondent called and wanted an appointment. On this study, all interviewers had pagers, and the toll-free number was set up with three-way calling, caller ID, call waiting, and other features. This allowed the supervisor to contact an interviewer while she had a respondent on the phone and set up an appointment on the spot. Cellular phones would have been even more efficient, but at the time they were too costly to rent.

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